The older I get, the deeper the longing for companionship grows. It comes and goes, but when it rises to the surface, it is unquenchable. The endless questions begin. Will I ever find someone who finds me infinitely interesting? Should I be more open, more honest, more vulnerable? This longing certainly paralyzes common sense. I begin to yearn and crave connection, and conversation. I probe and observe, and secretly hope that it isn’t all appearances.
Yet, time and time again that is what I find…a shallow puddle.
I earnestly continue, but I fear that cynicism may be poisonous to my exploits. On so many levels my generation is self-centered, arrogant and complacent. I say that, because I am. The struggle is real. At every turn I encounter this dilemma of values. For years I was driven by physical attraction. Then I lost one of the most important relationships in my life, in a revealing spiral. In the aftermath I came to better understand my own needs and desires. So much so that I now believe wholeheartedly that the intimacy that we often obtain in the physical is driven at its root by the feelings we associate with our partners.
When we are safe and happy, the physical is a natural outcome. However attempting to build on the foundation of physical attraction alone is a treacherously hollow endeavor. Those initial choices are critical. There really is no going back once physical boundaries are marked and plotted. With each misstep, the battle between desire and deeper connection wages on.
Thus my search for true connection seems endless. My ideals demand that I explore and uncover the mind, the motives, the marrow of a person before entertaining intimacy at any level. I can no longer build relationship solely on the whispers of desire. The collateral damage I have endured has left me disillusioned, hurt and confused. I have also seen firsthand the physical, emotional and psychological impact of shallow, vapid one-dimensional relationships. Our generation has made a mess of things. I say that with awe, pity and sincerity. We perhaps threw caution to the wind, and so the casualties have been great. Sure we have countless influences to blame – our parents, our communities, our culture, our values – but we have to take responsibility for our irreverent obsession with sex and pleasure.
We have made the physical pivotal to our relationships, and to our detriment. Gaining primarily momentary satisfaction, appeasing our perceived need for instant gratification. Could we instead unwrap personalities, preferences, and goals? Perhaps at a higher emotional cost, but God forbid that we should try to build healthy emotional and intellectual connections with our contemporaries.
So as I move forward I have decided to contend more fiercely with desire. To keep my own misguided motives in check. To tackle my need for the approval and affection of others. I have determined to finally distance myself from the emotions and visceral cravings that supercharge relationships, for the sake of peace of mind. Might I encourage that you do the same.